Education & Skills

Empowering communities, improving skills and helping children into education.

Education, including school in the early years and vocational training later in life, is an essential springboard for farming communities around the world. Education helps farmers and their families to develop the knowledge and skills they need to achieve greater financial security and independence. But, in many remote and rural communities decent education is out of reach.


As part of Sustainability Development Goal 4, the UN wants all boys and girls to have access to education by 2030 and to promote lifelong learning for adults, including technical education. The educational needs of farmers and their families range from the basics of reading and writing to management training and the operation of advanced machinery.

Our initiatives include:

  • Service centres and teams on the ground from which farmers can get advice, and digital channels (including apps and websites) for agronomic guidance

  • Vocational traineeships, peer education, and scholarships, including special programmes for women

  • Education and skills development opportunities for ofi employees

  • Skills transfer programmes that enable local employees to learn from highly skilled foreign nationals

  • School materials, equipment, and infrastructure

Working together to put children first in Côte d’Ivoire

Tackling child labor effectively requires collective action at the individual, community and national level. That is why we are partnering with the Ivorian government, key chocolate manufacturers, cocoa processors and the Jacobs Foundation in a new initiative to promote effective learning at scale in Côte d’Ivoire and tackle the root causes of child labor.


Together, we are funding the Child Learning and Educational Facility (CLEF), which aims to provide quality education for five million children and positively impact the behavior of 10 million parents in cocoa growing communities by 2030. It will do this through measures including the construction of 2,500 classrooms and other educational facilities.

Goals and Progress

We report on the goals and targets in the Human and Social Capital sections of our 2020 Annual Report.

Monitoring through AtSource+

AtSource+ allows customers to track education support provided to the farming communities, as well as the impact those interventions are having on the ground. It measures key metrics including:


  • Percentage of school aged children attending school  

  • Number of beneficiaries with access to education support

  • Includes literacy classes, vocational training and sponsored teaching activities

  • Number of beneficiaries from school infrastructure and equipment

  • Includes construction of classrooms, libraries, canteens, teacher housing and dormitories   

  • Number of beneficiaries of education services

  • Includes efforts to reduce entry barriers to enrolment such as help to get birth certificates, initiatives that raise awareness of the importance of school, and support for school transport

Education really does change lives

Providing access to education for farming communities in Côte d'Ivoire


AtSource+ metrics to track progress:

  • School-aged children attending school (%)
  • Beneficiaries with access to education support
  • Beneficiaries with school infrastructure and equipment
  • Beneficiaries with education services
  • Number of children of farmers that have received education support


Supporting social investments in communities is not only better for farmers and their families, it’s better for customers too.


In Côte d'Ivoire, one cocoa farming co-operative representing 340 farmers ringfences 30% of the net premium it receives for its cocoa to be used for social investment. The board recently decided to use the funds to construct a primary school in Jeannotkro, a village in the Divo region which is home to 150 of the co-operative’s farmers and their families.


Over 70 pupils, all aged 7-10 years old, now benefit from three fully trained teachers, saving them a 6km walk to the neighbouring village school. Through AtSource+ data, we can monitor the positive impact of the new school and teachers. We do this by tracking the number of children in the community who are going to school and how many people in the farmer group are benefiting from education support, infrastructure and services.

Read ofi news

Improving Every Day for Rural Women

Olam’s ambition to improve smallholder farmer livelihoods cannot be fully achieved without addressing gender equality.

Female farmer smiling and posing in front of a bunch of burlap bags stacked on top of each other

AtSource – How Farmer Field Schools are Brewing Sustainable Coffee

For farmers in the Quindío region of Colombia, a coffee education is proving a popular way of boosting livelihoods.

Group of farmers receiving coffee education in Quindo Columbia

Working together to put children first in Côte d’Ivoire

Despite significant progress, child labour still occurs in the cocoa supply chain, often as a result of social and economic challenges like migration, poverty or lack of infrastructure. If there is no school nearby or parents cannot afford school fees, children can be kept at home to work on family farms and support household incomes.

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We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today.